Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Automatic Emergency Braking
This document denies a January 13, 2016 rulemaking petition jointly submitted by Consumer Watchdog, Center for Auto Safety, and Public Citizen. The petition requested NHTSA to begin a rulemaking proceeding to mandate that all light vehicles be equipped with three types of automatic emergency braking (AEB) technologies: Forward crash warning, crash imminent braking, and dynamic brake support. NHTSA is denying the petition because the Agency has already taken significant steps to incentivize the installation of these technologies in a way that allows for continued innovation and technological advancement. First, NHTSA has expanded its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) so that the NCAP information for a vehicle notes whether the vehicle is equipped with one or more of these technologies. Second, it has sought public comment on its plans to revise NCAP so that the presence and level of performance of these technologies affects the overall rating of light motor vehicles. To reinforce these improvements to the NCAP program, NHTSA encouraged and facilitated a process that resulted in 20 light vehicle manufacturers, representing more than 99 percent of light motor vehicle sales in the United States, committing to voluntarily installing forward crash warning and crash imminent braking. While NHTSA's actions will help create availability and market push for AEB technologies, private sector organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports are helping to create market pull through a variety of outreach activities that are helping consumers understand the benefits of AEB as well as differences among various vehicle models. Together with NCAP, the industry commitment and the actions of other stakeholders will lead to the installation of a growing array of AEB technologies in substantially all light vehicles and will foster innovation and competition in this technologically dynamic area. As the manufacturers respond to NCAP and carry out their commitments, the Agency is continuously monitoring their efforts to assess whether additional steps, including the possibility of a rulemaking to establish a new standard, might be needed in the future to ensure realization of the potential benefits from the full array of automatic emergency braking technologies.